Good Shepherd Sunday — World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Vocations Sunday is observed annually on the 4th Sunday of Easter. This Sunday is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. On this day, we especially pray for vocations. While vocation is not a common word in our daily lingo, and we sometimes think it mostly refers to the clergy and religious, it is actually defined as a person’s profession, career or calling in life. As Father George Harrison said in his homily: It is our day.

As we appreciate all vocations in life, the Church focuses on raising shepherds for God’s people – vocations to Holy Orders and to the religious life. It is a day of discernment and prayer to respond to God’s call.

This year’s Vocations Sunday theme is “Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace”.

In his message, Pope Francis calls on everyone to: “Let Jesus draw you to himself; bring him your important questions; let him challenge you by his presence; more than anyone else, Jesus respects our freedom.”

In his video, Rev Fr Vincent Thomas, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur said that we are all called to live a life of holiness. Vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, which means “to call”.

Today we listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd calling us, guiding us, helping us to discern our purpose in life.

Fr Vincent said, our call is to be a faithful disciple and to carry on God’s mission.

“There is no need to be afraid. If the Good Shepherd calls you, he will guide you,” said Father Vincent.

Below are some thoughts and responses from individuals on promoting and nurturing vocations:


  1. Can you tell us one way to promote vocations today?
  2. Can you tell us one way to nurture vocations today?

Try to understand the candidate as they are and accompany them in their discernment.

Encourage them to come and experience our life in a convent or church.

Sr Retta Savariannan
Canossian Daughters of Charity (FDCC)
Archdiocesan Catechetical Office

Orang mengenalinya kalau dia selalu turun padang. Kalau dia seorang Paderi, dia selalu pergi berjumpa dengan komunitinya, bergaul dengan umatnya, dengan itu mereka mengenali dia dan senang umatnya bercakap dengan dia. Contoh di SIC, mereka ada membuat Saat Hening khusus untuk panggilan, ini boleh dibuat bersama-sama dengan umat gereja.

Bermula dari keluarga, mereka boleh buat program khas untuk menyantuni para ibu bapa supaya mereka menghidupi perkahwinan dengan baik, dan faham apa itu Panggilan. Tanggungjawab ‘Family Life’ bersama Paderi Paroki, juga boleh memberi kesedaran tentang kehidupan berkeluarga yang erat, agar kita dapat memupuk nilai-nilai panggilan yang boleh dicontohi oleh anak-anak muda.

Sr Stella Gilbert
Franciscan Sisters of The Immaculate Conception (FSIC)

Be in the parish. Available to the people.

Be Christ to others. Accompaniment.

Rev Fr Michel Dass
Assistant Parish Priest,
Church of St Anthony, Kuala Lumpur

Be a witness of Christ throughout my life: believe what I read, teach what I believe, practice what I teach.

Rev Fr Lawrence Ng CDD
Parish Priest
Church of St Ignatius, Petaling Jaya

Begin by daily renewing one’s Baptismal promises at home together with the parents, grandparents and godparents too. Families are seedbeds of all types of vocations. As such, parish priests should focus on families.

Young school going children, below the age of 12 years old, should interact with religious Sisters, Brothers, Priests and Deacons within their homes informally and in a friendly way at home together with their parents.

Bro Rajamanikam
Brothers of St Gabriel
Montfort Boys Town, Shah Alam

Create a culture that fosters vocations not just in the Church but also at home and in the BECs. Encourage open conversations about vocations and create supportive environments where young people can explore and discern their vocation. Make it clear that pursuing a holy vocation is a respected and valued choice. The topic should be introduced in catechism classes.

Educate the community on the importance of vocations and the role of priests and religious in the Church through homilies, religious education programs, vocation exhibitions and other events. Provide opportunities for service; this can help individuals experience the joy and fulfilment that comes from serving others. To introduce prayer for vocation in the daily family prayers.

Bro Anthony Robert
4th Year Theology
St Peter’s College Major Seminary, Kuching

Undoubtedly, it is prayer and vocation camps! But a Priest himself can make a huge difference by his words and actions. Priest living his being and doing.

Preach it. Make it attractive, unique and exclusive!

Just like “on the job training”, encourage young people to follow and participate for exposure and an opportunity to “turun padang” and they will feel, reflect and be touched. The stirrings of the uniqueness of the religious life will happen in them unconsciously!

Bro Albert Arputhan
Pastoral Year
Church of the Good Shepherd, Kuala Lumpur

Priests can play a mentorship role, spending more time with young people so they can see and understand the role of a priest; how it is both challenging and fulfilling at the same time.

Individual discernment is important but before this comes spiritual formation from parents and the community.

Rachael Philip
Liturgy Head
Church of the Divine Mercy, Shah Alam

Dialogue between priests and parishioners, especially the young.

Frances Hastie
Catechetical Head
Church of the Divine Mercy, Shah Alam

Priests and the religious need to be good role models of Christ to attract young men and women to follow their footsteps.

Use the WhatsApp platform to share simple messages of Christ and daily testimonies to a group of targeted youths.

Jordana Joseph
Church of the Holy Family, Kajang

To promote is to speak and share your own experience.

To nurture is to accompany those who are searching.

Rev Fr Andrew Manikam OFM Cap
Parish Administrator
Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Kuala Lumpur

Through the example of priests and the religious in parish, young people can envision the life of being a man of God or a religious, and their works, the many joys and blessings it comes with. Men and women need role models to look up to.

Holy Hour. Spending time before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to allow Him to touch hearts and to open ears to hear the call.

Bro Joseph Yuvaraja
2nd Year Theology
St Peter’s College Major Seminary, Kuching